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Thrice locked out

When I first realised that my house keys were inside the empty suitcase I lent to Hari, whose own suitcase zipper had busted during flight, I felt a dizzy sensation. How would I get back home? No worries. I'll just call my builder to make sure he's working the day I return.

Once home, I declined to take my spare set of keys from him. No, keep it until you return to finish the job, I will use the other set.

Next morning, as soon as I shut the door and tried to use the deadlock key, I realised that I had picked up the wrong set of keys. They were my neighbour's keys. Luckily my neighbour was home that evening when I returned. So I took back the set I had left with him for emergencies.

This morning I learned that the deadlock key I had tried to use yesterday morning was a duplicate of the neighbour's own house keys. Instead of checking whether the other key was a duplicate also, I took off the deadlock key and returned it to my neighbour. Then I swapped keys for keyrings without checking if I had the right keys.

My day was very long: a 3 hour lunch in Covent Garden, numerous phone calls at the office, a swim, and Thai fried noodles - cider - lengthy but enlightening conversation with an artist-producer-fundraiser-turned consultant. I looked so forward to going to bed.

But the keys I took did not fit my keyhole! I had two spare sets of my neighbour's housekeys, and none of my own to begin with!. In the process of swapping the spare set I retrieved from my neighbour, I had taken the spare set for his house!

Don't panic now, I told myself. There's still another back-up. Just check my other neighbour for my other spare set. No one answered the door. Could she be out of town or asleep? By now, it was 11:30 pm and way past her bedtime. I started to panic. Just then, her next door neighbour came to the rescue, as she was just returning home. But I hardly knew her or her boyfriend. How could I impose at this late hour?

I truly felt homeless then. How could I have been so stupid? So presumptuous? Why did I have two sets of my neighbour's keys? Why did I leave my own housekeys in my suitcase? Why didn't I take back my spare set from my builder? What didn't I colour my own keys with red nail polish to distinguish them from the neighbour's?

5 April 2002 Friday

Keys give access. Without access, you're locked out.
As we go through life, we gain access to expertise, opportunity, privileges, perks, etc.